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February 10, 2010

SGI introduces cloud computing service for technical applications

Comes in SaaS and IaaS models with initial support for five technical domains

By CBR Staff Writer

SGI has launched Cyclone, a large-scale, on-demand cloud computing service dedicated to technical applications.

The Cyclone initially supports application partners and five technical domains, including computational fluid dynamics, finite element analysis, computational chemistry and materials, computational biology and ontologies.

The company said that the Cyclone comes in Software as a Service (SaaS) and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) models. The SaaS model allows customers to reduce time to results by accessing Cyclone’s pre-defined, pre-certified technical applications. The IaaS model allows customers to install and run their own applications.

With Cyclone’s SaaS model, the company delivers access to open source applications and commercial software platforms from top independent software vendors. It supports applications such as OpenFOAM, NUMECA, Acusolve, LS-Dyna, Gaussian, Gamess, NAMD, Gromacs, LAMMPS, BLAST, FASTA, HMMER, ClustalW and OntoStudio.

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According to SGI, the technology at Cyclone’s core is comprised of supercomputing hardware architectures, including SGI Altix scale-up, Altix ICE scale-out and Altix XE hybrid clusters, all based on Intel Xeon or Itanium processors.

In addition, the hybrid architecture offers either Nvidia Tesla GPUs or AMD FireStream GPU compute accelerators for floating point double precision workloads and Tilera accelerators for integer workloads.

The company said that the Cyclone at the system software level offers a computing environment with the choice of Novell SUSE or Red Hat Linux operating systems through the addition of SGI ProPack. Altair PBS Professional and SGI ISLE Cluster Manager provide system scheduling and management.

Mark Barrenechea, CEO of SGI, said: “Cyclone meets customers’ critical need to experience results quickly as they deploy their technical applications in traditional data centres, modular data centres or the cloud.

Over the internet, customers can now gain access to the world’s fastest, most advanced computers and pay for only what they use. Cyclone will help customers focus on their business or research instead of worrying about complex computers or infrastructure.

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